U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) urged supporters of 6th District congressional candidate David J. Trone (D) on Saturday to take nothing for granted heading into Election Day. While things look good for Democrats now, she said, a relatively small number of votes, spread across key races, could keep Republicans in control of the House.
Pelosi, the former House speaker who could reclaim the gavel if Democrats flip 23 seats on Election Day, spoke at a get-out-the-vote rally at Trone’s Montgomery County headquarters.
“Every door you knock, every call you make, every sign you plant, every post card you send, everything that you do will make the difference,” Pelosi said.
On Election Day, she added, “the fate of our nation will be decided.”
Trone is running for the seat being vacated by Rep. John K. Delaney (D), a three-term incumbent who is giving up his seat to run for the White House in 2020.
He and Pelosi spoke to a group of more than 200 volunteers, most of whom manned phone banks and canvassed 6th District neighborhoods after the speeches.
Although Pelosi is a fundraising powerhouse without equal, there are a limited number of swing districts where she can campaign and help the Democratic candidate, thanks to Republicans’ longstanding efforts to vilify her. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report rates close to 100 House seats across the country as competitive, and none in Maryland fall into that category. However, the open seat 6th District election, and the race in the 1st District between Rep. Andrew P. Harris, the state’s lone Republican in Congress, and Afghanistan War veteran Jesse Colvin, a Democrat, are considered the most competitive.
Trone is running in a four-person field that includes national security consultant Amie Hoeber, a Republican and a former deputy undersecretary of the Army during the Reagan years.
As Trone and Pelosi were speaking in Montgomery County, Maryland Republicans were rallying in Frederick, at an event for state Senate hopeful Craig Giagrande that was headlined by Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr.
Hoeber, attorney general nominee Craig Wolf, several members of the governor’s cabinet and others attended, along with some of the union leaders who have endorsed Hogan’s re-election bid.
Hogan, who was introduced to chants of “four more years,” did not mention Hoeber by name in his remarks, though he did urge support for Giangrande, whose campaign against state Sen. Ronald N. Young (D-Frederick) is part of the GOP’s “Drive for Five,” an effort to make it more difficult for Senate Democrats to override Hogan vetoes.
The governor did shoot a brief video for Hoeber in which he said, “I’m so excited to be here to support my very dear friend Amie Hoeber, who I really need as your next congresswoman. I think she’s going to be do a great job representing the district. She’s going to be a true partner at the federal level.”
Pelosi, a native Marylander who was lauded for her efforts, in the Obama years, to push the Affordable Care Act and various economic measures through Congress, hailed Trone for his passion and intellect.
“He knows what he is talking about. He brings knowledge and judgement. … His leadership is going to help us so much,” she said.
The Democratic rally took place just as news of the fatal shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, which left 11 people dead, began circulating. At the end of her remarks, Pelosi informed the crowd that she had just been briefed on the shooting.
“We got some really bad news,” she said. “Many people were killed. … A terrible thing, I’m sorry to say it to you.”
There were gasps and murmurs from the crowd.
Pelosi said the massacre occurred “at the synagogue that David and [his wife] June attended when they lived in Pittsburgh.”
Hoeber, Trone and two minor-party candidates debated at a synagogue in Gaithersburg on Tuesday. Gun control and violence at schools and houses of worship were among the issues they were asked about.